South African Parliament Mulls Zuma Impeachment

The South African parliament is scheduled to debate a motion to impeach incumbent President Jacob Zuma following allegations over his violation of the country’s constitution.

Jacob Zuma

“The national assembly will on Tuesday, 5 April, consider a motion by the Democratic Alliance for the removal of the President in terms of section 89 of the constitution,” Baleka Mbete, the South African parliament speaker, said on Sunday.

The decision was made after the country’s top court ruled on Thursday that Zuma had failed to uphold the constitution by ignoring official orders that he repay some of the $16 million in state funds spent on renovating his private home.

The restoration project which reportedly cost a total of $24 million of public money in 2014, included a swimming pool, chicken run, cattle enclosure and an amphitheater.

On a televised address, the 73-year-old president said he had “never knowingly and deliberately set out to violate the constitution” and that “any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice.”

Since the top court’s ruling, opposition party leaders, ordinary South Africans and even anti-apartheid activists have called on Zuma to resign.

The scandal is by far the biggest to hit the embattled president, who has dismissed accusations of corruption, influence peddling and rape since he took office in 2009.